from quotes of Anthony De Mello . . . 

In order to be genuinely happy there is one and only one thing you need to do: get rid of your attachments. So, let’s start by defining what I mean by attachments.

An attachment is a state of clinging to something or someone that you believe is necessary for your happiness. Thus, attachments have you thinking, “Unless or until I get or can keep [fill in the blank], I cannot be happy.

Attachments have us thinking that, I cannot be happy unless I get out of debt . . . I can’t be happy unless my boss appreciates me. . . unless I make that sale . . . unless my neurosis goes away.

Make your own list of attachments by filling out the attachment sheet, by clicking here.

When you’ve made your list, look it over and consider that these attachments are the only reason you suffer with unhappiness, whenever you feel unhappy. Almost every negative emotion you experience is the direct outcome of an attachment.

There is only one way to win the battle of attachments: Drop them. Try it now. For a moment, let go of the five attachments you listed on the sheet and simply count your the blessings. In other words, be grateful for what you have. Tell yourself: “I have everything I need to be happy right now without anything changing.

How is an attachment formed?

  1. First comes the contact with something that gives you pleasure: a car, the latest electronic device, a word of praise, a person’s company, the idea of becoming rich, famous and powerful. 
  2. If you succeed at securing your attachment then comes the desire to hold on to it, to repeat the gratifying sensation that this thing or person produced in you.
  3. Finally comes the false belief that you cannot be happy without this person or thing.

The tragedy of an attachment is that if its object is not attained it causes unhappiness. But if its object is attained, neither does it cause happiness. It merely produces a flash of pleasure followed by the anxiety that you may lose the object of your attachment.

Does dropping attachments mean detaching from or renouncing the material world? No. One uses the material world, one enjoys the material world, but one does not make one’s happiness depend on the material world.

We begin to enjoy worldly things when we are unattached because attachment makes us tense, frustrated, nervous, insecure and fearful. Let go of an attachment to something, and we begin to enjoy what it provides.